Intended for healthcare professionals

Feature Data Briefing

Is there equal pay in healthcare? Not if you are a doctor

BMJ 2012; 345 doi: (Published 18 September 2012) Cite this as: BMJ 2012;345:e6191
  1. John Appleby, chief economist
  1. 1King’s Fund, London, UK
  1. j.appleby{at}

The gap may be closing between men and women’s pay, but in medicine the gender divide persists, finds John Appleby

Last year, for the latest release of data from its annual survey of hourly earnings, the Office of National Statistics (ONS) announced a continued closing of the pay gap between men and women in the United Kingdom. By April 2011, the difference in median hourly earnings between men (£13.11; €16.40; $21.10) and women (£11.91) in full employment stood at 9.2% (of men’s average pay)—a drop of one percentage point compared with April 2010.1 2 At this rate, by 2021 women can expect to be on a par with men—a mere 51 years after the Equal Pay Act passed on to the statute book.

Unfortunately, a change in methods led to the ONS publishing revised figures in March 2012, The change increased the 2011 gender pay gap to 10.5% and makes comparison with …

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